Category Archives: Retirement

A Fifties Child

me and mum & dad 1952 001

Born in the early 50’s, one of 3 and the oldest we had no Tv or phone we played out until dark and sometimes we were out all day playing in the woods, making camps…I was definitely not one of those girls who played with dolls and pushed someone else’s baby up and down the street..for fun! Really…I was  a tom boy…one of my earliest memories was this pink spotted dress my mum made me…she made all our clothes and I remember that when the elbows of our cardigans or jumpers wore thin my mum unpicked the sleeves and changed them over so the darned patch was in the crook of our elbow.

I also remember climbing the big old Oak tree in the middle of the green and catching the said pink dress and tore it! Girls then did not wear trousers only skirts and dresses.

sisters

Going to visit nan

We made tents in the garden by slinging a blanket over the clothes line…..Played how high can you jump with a pole on two sticks…until my dad shouted at us as we made a bare patch on his lawn. I remember playing jacks and hopscotch on the pavement( we then) had to clean every bit of the chalk of the pavement when we had finished playing.

Collecting the empty bottles and taking them back to get a penny and how many sweets could you get for a penny?

I remember moaning like hell when my mum combed my hair after washing it and the rags she put in so we had ringlets( and how they hurt to sleep in). I also remember her taking us to the hairdressers as she was fed up with moans and me getting this fringe…..I promptly got the scissors out when I got home and cut it off..stating I don’t have a fringe now.

I also remember how much I used to write for homework..pages and pages..my teachers must have groaned..not half a page for me. When I got the ” A” my mum would say very nice dear…my dad..not much…he thought girls just got married and had kids.

Our first TV…..Took pride of place in the parlour ..the best room..the one we only used on high days and holidays or when people visited.

Most of my friends wanted to be teachers, hairdressers, nurse, shop assistants ..none wanted to be a pop star or celebrity.

But we were happy! Why?

Ask yourself?

So true to life…I got married, had the kids..blah blah blah

Then I retired..…went to Thailand….joined Phuket Writers and wow…….. An anthology, a novel in the pipeline, writing for a New York website, a collaboration with Sally from Smorgasbord Health 2017  so much to do and who knows how much time…I am having fun on this ride and do not want to get off…

And all because this child of the fifties had a dream.

So I believe if you dare to dream…then you can!

Thai boys in tree

I see that happiness in the faces of the village children here..who have very little…the boys ..a bike, they fish..a stick with a cord, they run, they climb trees, they laugh..why?

 I hope at least one of them has a dream!
Until next time stay safe, laugh a lot as you know it is good for you… and have fun x

Things to do today: 1. Get Up… 2. Survive…..3……. Go to bed!

Well that’s my day sorted!

So I stretched, opened my eyes….sun shining through the window…reached for my little silky number that I put on in the morning…must have slipped to the floor…..picked it up, put it on…and it slipped slowly straight off……no straps….and there they were beautifully displayed on the floor.!

Saang Chai!  I got this sleepy one-eyed look and then it dawned on him..he crept to my feet, literally doing that slidey movement dogs do when they know they shouldn’t have and gave me the baby browns…morning mum..love you….I wonder methinks that on Monday whether he will tell the whole truth and nothing but?…..Just licked it my arsss……..

Soi dogs_street dogs-Saanchai

Pretending to be asleep with one ear cocked

He is now snoozing at my feet now without a care in the world..

Today I am sorting out my e-mail and my media …and of course WP reader…

Because guys I do read your blogs, well most of them ..like everyone the odd blog is not for you..but I do read most and they are great…I have met some wonderful people….and some not so ……I like happy blogs..blogs that help me, blogs that teach me something I didn’t know…blogs that make me laugh, blogs that make me cry and realise how lucky I am……

So why am I lucky?? I have wonderful children and grand children who I love with a passion….I live in Paradise……except for the ANTS who are the bane of my life ..I have had pest control who are probably wishing I had never signed that contract..the odd scorpion..Scary the daughter in law just wacked it…HARD…

Spiders galore…..gekos and lizards..they are ok….beautiful butterflies and birds and fish and the pesky termites who were eating my kitchen cupboards…ha ha but not any more..thanks to pest control..they got that bit right..but to be fair we do have lots of ants…oh and the odd Cobra or two….and it’s warm..we get spectacular storms……and POWER CUTS……The electric is the worst..cables everywhere..and just a drop of rain and of it goes…tomorrow it’s  off 9-4..

How do I know that as all the announcements are in Thai……but this one ..they must have listened to me was in the paper!

So tomorrow….sun allowing, it will have to be the beach folks …. That OF COURSE was  10521879_10152472184109865_5630515386234439606_nSAM_6522SAM_5120.

Then and this is now I have swapped the beach for rural Thailand so it is lakes and waterfalls… and water buffaloes…

Water Buffalo- Red Lotus Lake

But today…I am also pickling onions……

Onions- pickled-home cooked-from scratch

Home made pickled Onions

Pickled Onions:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
  • 11/2 pints pickling vinegar…I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
  • 2tbsp Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.

2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.

Let’s get Pickled:

Firstly drain the onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilised jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour vinegar over the onions making sure they are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!

Enjoy!

Well  that’s me…. done the first two…bit early for bed…well maybe a siesta…….and then a sundowner x

I hope you enjoyed this revamped earlier post..One of my first…Sorting my media out …Headache and all my fault…

Until next time have a lovely day xxx

About Carol:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I cook with have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you for reading xx

 

 

 

 

Some days you just have to create your own sunshine!

Well so far all’s well on the sunshine front but another severe weather warning has been posted!

No small boats to go out..means no fresh squid for salad but hey ho I can live with that, we have had enough drownings this season because people don’t heed the warnings  or the Red Flags…… does a red flag not mean the same in any language on a beach?  or they presumably think they are strong enough swimmers…some will never learn will they? So I can forgo my squid as long as everyone is safe.

Saang Chai is settling in well he is finding plenty to chew but I will let him relay that in his own blog on Monday folks. If you haven’t read his very first blog( I am told ) it’s very funny then drop by you won’t want to miss an episode.

OHHHH I can see some big clouds looming which means rain soon and more ants, I am over run with them got 3 big ant nestsSAM_7032 in my garden I think they like it here, 2 termite ones, this weather is certainly making them want to nest build and make the grass grow…. Methinks it’s time to call a man who can!

Wow sunshine again…….SAM_7041Here I am sitting in my office looking out , one minute it’s sunny and the next we have rain. So methinks best get to market before the heavens open because I’m sure they will..it’s Thai Green Curry  tonight if you would like the recipe let me know…I will be posting it on my next recipe blog along side Brownies made with Coconut Flour they look yummy ( in the picture) will they be yummy ? Will let you know for sure.

Bye for now have a lovely weekend , have fun, stay safe if you are swimming and you see a red flag…Love you all….   🙂

 

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going!

 

 

Well that’s a sweeping statement but true.

I am at a crossroads , I think, what to do?, where to go?, who with? when? why? shall I ? shan’t I ? will I? won’t I? the brain just whirls around and around in never-ending circles.

How many of us have agonised like this over our jobs, our kids, parents, holidays, cars, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, what to have for dinner? …well gotta eat!

I think it’s amazing that we ever get anything done given all of that.

Isn’t the human brain just  awesome ?

At last we have rain..yippee, surveying my garden this morning there are a few branches on the grass , oh yes and we had wind….the sun is showing it’s self albeit with a watery smile. It’s Songkram…Thai New Year…water fights galore..the shops full or not so full now of water pistols of varying colours and sizes..the fun will soon begin….

But not before I have had my morning cuppa.

I have been planning my way forward for the next year as in where I want my book to be..Finished would be good.

I plan to write a children’s cook book as my grandchildren love cooking even little Lily who is four  is a dab hand with the Mortar and Pestle and she can do mushrooms albeit they are different shapes and sizes ha ha. Aston at 12 a bit more proficient so I’m thinking lots of pics and simple recipes for kids to do.

And improve my blog as in change a few things..ha ha should be fun ‘cos the mind knows what I want to do..It’s the doing..so lots of U-Tube Tutorials later it will…I’m being positive here..take shape so that’s some of my plans..oh and finish my book!.

I have been experimenting making my own Smoothies, and I love it…the blender is just about working I needed a new rubber washr it was pouring out the bottom…. so who looked with the lid off.?????… No folks No pictures..just use your imagination …you are writers after all

Still researching the Sour Dough …… but we have Hot Cross Buns ..recipe on  the previous post….

And trying different foods that is one thing I love about living here it is a melting pot of different cultures and recipes..yum..yesterday I had Bobotie it was great…. it is the National Dish of South Africa and very good.

My recipe for you this week is a simple Chicken and Mushroom Pate ( one of my grandson’s favorites) and so quick to make.

Ingredients:

  • 450gm/11b Chicken Livers.
  • 4 Chestnut Mushrooms finely chopped.
  • 220gm/8oz Butter.
  • 2/3 cloves garlic finely chopped.
  • 2/3 shallots finely chopped or small brown onion.
  • 1 tbsp Brandy.
  • 1tsp Mustard Powder.
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • 1 bay leaf and 3 cranberries for decoration.

Let’s Cook!

Melt 4oz of butter in a pan add chopped onions and cook until soft but not coloured. Add mushrooms about halfway through cooking.

Add garlic and chicken Livers and fry until cooked through.

Add Brandy..my hands wobbled at this stage and I deviated slightly from said recipe..I put 2 spoons in..ha ha.

Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place the Liver mix and 2oz of remaining butter in the food processor and blend until smooth.

Taste and season again with salt and freshly ground pepper.

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Put in Ramekin or small dish, decorate with bay leaf and 3 cranberries ( I used small lime leaves as had no fresh bay leaves.

Chill and serve and enjoy!

Well, that’s all for now until next time I hope you enjoyed my ramblings. x

 

I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” W.C.Fields.

Good morning I have deliberated , digested  all of that over my G & T(s) and decided that this blog will be all about the “staff of Life” otherwise known as food!

I have cooked from an early age and started with good old British Fare and when I was old enough to cook myself my first dish was one that probably most youngsters start with ” Spag Bol ”

This was in the 60’s and I always remember my father..bless him..saying ” I’m not eating that foreign muck” he was a good old-fashioned Englishman who was used to good old-fashioned ” meat and 2 veg” very ably cooked by my mother.

Life moves on and it was probably a good few years before he did in fact .. eat it!

My aim in this blog is to give you recipes from the Uk and the rest of the world. Recipes that I have enjoyed, picked up on my travels or have been given to me by friends or just that now I have more time to do as I wish am experimenting with …..I make my own Bacon and Ham, bread,and am experimenting with cultures and pickling, all sorts really anything and everything… my minds an open book……..I hope you are as excited as I am…..

I would also love it if any of you had recipes you want to share, have eaten and don’t know how to cook or what the ingredients are in it and just have a name…..I will gladly research, cook it and share it…how’s that for a  good deal ??????

Salmon Trout.

Ingredients:

180gm  Trout or Salmon fillet.

For Topping:

  • 1 spring onion finely chopped.
  • 2/3 stems Coriander chopped finely.. I use the stem as well.
  • 1 red birds eye chilli finely chopped.
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce.
  • A cheek of lime.

Mix all ingredients together.

Put fish on foil and spoon topping on. I reserve some of the topping to add when serving. Seal foil and put in the oven on 180 for 10/15 mins until cooked.SAM_6823 SAM_6827 This depends on the thickness of the fish.

When cooked remove from oven and serve with rice.(This is when I remove the skin from fish.) and also add any additional topping. Enjoy!

Thai Pickled Cabbage ( Pak Dong)

  • 1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.
  • 8 large spring onions chopped
  • Coarse Salt.

Let’s Cook!

Layer Cabbage, Onions and Salt in a dish ( with lid)

We then leave the dish on the kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

SAM_6824Then refrigerate for 2 days. It’s now ready to eat.

The longer you leave this mixture then it gets sourer so if you prefer you can leave longer.

No liquid is necessary as salt draws moisture from Cabbage and it makes its own liquid.

This can be eaten as a snack or with fish/or chicken.I prefer this to sauerkraut as it’s not so acidic but it’s personal taste.

Bread Pudding.

An old Favorite of my dad’s.

I keep all of my bits of stale bread in the freezer until I have enough for a pudding.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 Ib of bread ( brown /white) or mixed.
  • 1-2 tbsp Mixed Spice.
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3 oz butter melted.
  • 12/16 oz  dried fruit (sultanas or raisins)

Let’s Cook!

Put bread in a large mixing bowl and cover with water or mix or milk and water to soak.

When soft I squeeze out in colander as much liquid as I can.

Add melted butter, mixed spice, eggs, and fruit and  combine.

I like lots of spice and fruit so if I think it needs more at this point then I add it is one of those dishes where you can add what you like for example if I have had some other fruit left over as in cranberries or blueberries I would add.

Put in hot oven 180 degrees for 1 hour if the top seems to be browning too quickly then reduce the heat a little. It should rise a little by end of cooking. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar.

004This is when I invoke my rights to cooks perks and have the 1st bit..to try of course as it’s yummy hot and straight from the dish. It is also great served with custard or cold if there is any left..haha. It also uses up all your bits of stale bread.

 

I hope you enjoy these dishes..until next time xx And now for that glass of wine!

“I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” by Eleanor Roosevelt.

Are we all happy with that?

I am because if I hadn’t retired to Phuket I most certainly would not be blogging, I would not be warm( it’s so hot and sunny here), I would not be making my own ham and bacon, I would not be a published author the list is endless.

Why? I can hear you all saying.

Choices, circumstances, call it what you may….. sometimes we have to just be brave, go with the flow, listen to our hearts, be a little selfish…..yes why not…… years ago and I mean years ago I wanted to study Law…..I got these looks, comments…why Carol? you have a good job, you have a family why…all these puzzled looks…..why? for me, because I wanted to……so I enrolled…… time to study!

” Mum, Can I? Mum, can you? it didn’t stop…

Enter my friend Gilly…….My neighbour, confidant, shoulder to cry on, my independent career driven friend who had no children of her own…and my kids were her kids…..for sleepovers, cooking, storytelling and she had plenty of those…..

In she came…..like a stern maiden aunt…..even, I was a tad afraid…..” Now listen to me kids; your mum was herself before she was your mum…….when she is studying…because she wants to…YOU….do not disturb her…anything you want you are to ask before or wait until after she has finished studying ”

To me, she said ” you shut the door and you study, you do not answer any knocks, pleadings, wants ”

” Yes Ma’am ”

I miss you Gilly……. so much but your spirit is with me and your pictures ( the painting), The hot air balloons going up, up and away over Weston, my ” Crazy Dancing Cow ”

SAM_6498

on my desk…yes she came with me……..you are in my heart, you are my inspiration and we all have so many memories of fun times shared R.I.P, my friend,.

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So in I go,  sat down..books open, pen at the ready….” Knock, Knock, mum?”

From me…nada..no response…..it got a bit louder…..then went away……came back and tried again…..but after a few days of this ….they got the message…I got peace and quiet to study…….yeah…so I suppose what I have learned through life is we all love our kids, we want to do our best for them but a doormat we ain’t and we all need our me time and everyone is happier for this and do you know?

35 plus years later.

When one of your children tells you that you are why they are what they are today and they are proud of  YOU ……….you know you have done something right among all the things you got wrong…and no one is perfect..not me, not you..no one……….

So good luck with the choices you make..don’t beat yourself up if they don’t turn out quite as you wanted but a little bit of self-belief goes a long way…you tried….. every day is a new day.

AND Saturday for me is a big day…I get to see, to hold, to turn the pages of our book for the first time…my very first offerings to the world in print ……… Now, who would have thought…if I had written my future 20 years ago  I would have got it totally wrong!

I would not be living here in sunny Phuket………..again..choices, some say ” lucky you,” You are so brave ( not sure I get that one), some may think very selfish …we cannot please all the people all of the time.

It all goes back to that opening line;

I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” Eleanor Roosevelt.